My wonderful mother-in-law Lori’s birthday came on Sept. 30, and that wasn’t the only recent celebration. In mid-September I went on Facebook and was startled to realize I had missed celebrating my superb children on “National Daughters Day” and “National Sons Day.” But there have been so many special days on Facebook lately that I asked a data expert friend if there was something odd going on.

Sure enough, my research-savvy friend sent me an article from showing that no one ever heard of National Sons or Daughters Day before 2019. Both days appear to have been created by foreign sites. Also, as of September 2021, readers are reporting a huge uptick in “random question based” posts. Some of these holidays and fun posts seem to be “engagement bait” or “data mining.”

Judy Young is a retired United Methodist pastor and Gettysburg resident.

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